Ski team finds early success and prepares for Regionals

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So far in the unpredictable year of 2021, the FHCs ki team has done well in its hectic season. With the competition shortened to between just two teams every meet, having tight race times, less runs, and no lodge time, this season is far from ideal. COVID-19 has affected the skiers greatly, as it has done to many sports. Despite these challenges, senior captain Abby McAlindon has pushed the team and herself to look past the complications and focus on doing their best in the races they are able to have. 

“As the first MHSAA winter sport to compete, the athletes have been good ambassadors of the privilege they have been given to participate and compete in their sport,” coach Thomas Sabin said. “The athletes are really resilient, and the COVID protocols are now just a part of their routine of practices and races.”

The team has competed in five races so far this season: January 14th at Cannonsburg, January 21st at Cannonsburg, January 28th and 29th at Caberfae, and February 4th at Cannonsburg. The Rangers did well at all of these races, proving their focus with their hard work, fast times, and high places. 

“I was really excited and happy about how our season started out. Our team was quick to adjust to the new race schedule and having to constantly wear masks when we were on the hill,” Abby said. “We also have a lot of new members on the team, and our varsity run order has been consistently changing as people continue to improve, which is awesome.”

The boys team is very deep this year, having many good skiers in the lineup, which helps them to push each other to do their best in every race. Freshman Mickey Mehney has been consistently working hard this season and has been improving his abilities. He has since moved up to the varsity line, pushing his upperclassmen to fight for their spots. On the girls team, there are a lot of new faces. With new skiers and new skill sets, there is room for shuffling the varsity line around, always having a talented skier to take up the challenge.

“We’re glad to see our returning captains lead in a very challenging season, but we are also very encouraged by rookie skiers who are all stepping up and improving their technique this season,” Sabin said. 

Last night on the 4th was senior night. Seniors Koyuki Buckhold, Eden Growney, Autumn Shook, Lily Campbell, Aidan O’Meara, Sam Musgraves, and Abby were all celebrated at this event. For the girls’ GS, Abby took third place with a combined time of 54.78 and Eden took 12th place with a time of 58.97. For the boys’ GS, junior Ben Taylor took fourth place with a combined time of 51.45, and Aidan took eighth, finishing with a time of 54.65.  

With the talent on this year’s varsity team, both the boys and girls team are in a position to qualify for the conference championship which will take place on Tuesday, February 16th; but first, they will prepare to compete in Regionals on Monday, February 8th at 9:30.